Nigeria’s House of Representatives on Tuesday tasked Federal Government on the need to repatriate 22 Nigerians reportedly stranded in the Republic of Niger, following their escape from slavery in Libya.
To this end, the House has directed its joint committees on Foreign Affairs and Interior to liaise with relevant agencies with the view to ensure their return and embark on entrepreneurship training as part of the reintegration plans.
The resolution was passed sequel to the adoption of a motion under matters of urgent public importance, sponsored by Balarabe Salame, who recalled that the ECOWAS Parliament had recently sent a fact-finding delegation to ascertain the status of stranded West Africans at the International Organisation for Migrant’s camp located at Agadas, Niger Republic, where plights of the stranded Nigerians were discovered.
“Nigeria is one of the countries with considerable escapees numbering 22, dumped at the International Organisation for Migrant’s camp in Niger Republic”, the lawmaker said, adding that while most of the escapee have devised means and found their ways back to Nigeria, “22 Nigerians are still hanging in the camp with no certainty on how and when they will be repatriated home,” he noted.
According to him, the living conditions of the escapees was not encouraging, with some still nursing gun shot wounds, as well as scars of other inhuman abuses.
He argued that there was the possibility of more traumatic experience for the escapees, in the event that the International Organisation for Migrants withdraws its services, even as their continued stay as stranded escapees was not good for image of Nigeria as a country.
“The image of Nigeria which currently holds the leadership of the ECOWS is at stake if urgent action is not taken to repatriate the Nigerians,” he observed.
KEHINDE AKINTOLA, Abuja